A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Hooptedoodle #241 - A Return to the Enchanted Forest

Well, we had such a splendid time last year at the Enchanted Forest show in Faskally Wood, at Pitlochry, in Perthshire, that we went again for this year's edition. Really very good indeed - we were, admittedly, lucky with the weather, but it is a marvellous experience - lots of loud music and unbelievable lighting effects in a highland forest, all reflected in a lake. I can't quite remember what psychedelic actually means, but I think it is on the right lines. The festival runs for the month of October each year, and if you get an opportunity to go, I recommend it thoroughly - tickets normally go on sale around July time.

This year's theme was Shimmer (last year's was Flux).

We had a welcome chance to catch up with progress on the new bridge over the
Forth - it may not be open in time for the end of this year, but it won't be far off.
Looks good. The new bridge will not be called the Third Forth Bridge, nor the
Fifth Bridge, nor any other of the popular social media names (especially
not Bridgey McBridgeface) - it will be called (possibly rather tamely) The
Queensferry Crossing. So there.

Autumn on the A9

Foy the Younger throws himself into his highland break with typical zeal

And the show itself was breathtaking...

Pitlochry is rather an expensive place - especially during the Enchanted
Forest season - there was some very competitive marketing in evidence

All very confusing for a visitor who was, almost certainly, probably definitely the
only retired Napoleonic French general in the Highlands this week
The Contesse did a nice job with the photography - she also took some splendid video clips, but these are dauntingly large things to upload, so instead I've linked to someone else's YouTube effort, which gives an idea - only an idea - the spectacle is far larger than a computer or mobile screen can portray, and the sound is well beyond the scope of the budgerigar's-bottom-hole-sized speakers in your laptop - you'll just have to go and see it!


  1. It looks quite, well, err, enchanted. The sort of thing all young children should see, and some of us adults, as well.
    What a bewildering variety of tea and coffee shops.

    1. There is an element of unsophisticated enthusiasm about the whole show which is more than balanced by the cleverness of the technology. It is a remarkable experience, even if i would not buy the soundtrack album as a souvenir.

      The coffee shop thing has obviously developed into a major local joke - our problem was that our visit was just a single day and night - you can see how this would benefit from some serious research. We didn't get to Hettie's - we'll try for that next year.

  2. Would I be right in thinking the town has precisely one "family owned sweet shop", one "takeaway deli" and one coffee shop? Looks like a great day out.

    1. It's a good theory, but there are a lot of alternatives, and all concentrated in a small area. The two sweetshops are directly opposite each other, and we bought a bag of sweets from the more hospitable of the two. Scotland is famous for the range and cosumed quantity of "boilings" - hard sweets made up with the cheapest sugar you can synthesise. This, of course, is why Scottish dentists are very wealthy.

      It was a long shot, in the Highlands, but we tried to get my Mum's favourites, which are Hawick Balls (which are Borders sweets, as are Berwick Cockles, Jethart Snails and Moffat Toffees), but no luck. We did find some Uncle Joe's Mint Balls, though (an ancient North of England sweet), and were offered (quaintly) a choice of 100gms or a quarter of a pound. We took the traditional quarter, and that was Mum's present from the Gateway to the Highlands.

      Sadly, Uncle Joe, it seems, does not pass that way very often, and the Mint Balls were stale and gooey. It would probably have been obvious that low turnover equals old stock, but hey. Maybe the place to buy Hawick Balls and so forth is Amazon? Or Hawick, maybe.